The Platform

Alexandros Michailidis

Israel’s ultimate political survivor was just elected prime minister — again — and that’s bad news for the despots of Iran.

Inflation, high fuel prices, and the economy were some of the major concerns which drove Israeli voters to the polls last week.

Besides economic woes, Israel is beset by major challenges and opportunities on all sides, both old and new. As such, Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to power has come at a very critical time.

Israel signed a major trade deal with the United Arab Emirates in May. It’s the biggest trade deal Israel has managed to negotiate with its newly receptive neighbors to date.

Israel’s diplomatic standing has been improving in recent years, due in part to Iran. Other nations in the Middle East have had to band closer together for mutual support, protection, and regional security.

But not everyone is in favor of efforts to legitimize Israel on the international stage.

“The UK has ‘no plans’ to move [its] embassy to Jerusalem,” Al Jazeera reported. “[Prime Minister] Rishi Sunak’s spokeswoman appears to abandon the relocation review ordered by [Liz Truss].”

The biggest threat facing Israel is still Iran.

But there has been good news for Israel on that front. The 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), appears to have been all but abandoned by the Biden administration — at least for now.

Former President Donald Trump scuttled the JCPOA and attempts by the Biden administration to renegotiate a return to the agreement have been stalling for over a year.

During that time, Israel wisely chose to capitalize on the stalemate, taking every available opportunity to nudge the U.S. away from a similarly-flawed agreement with Iran.

Critics of the JCPOA argue that it would only strengthen Iran’s repressive regime and undermine peace in the Middle East.

“The JCPOA provides Israel ample reason to doubt the Biden administration’s assurances that a second Iran deal will bring regional stability,” writes Peter Berkowitz for Real Clear Politics on September 4.

“Conceived and negotiated by former Obama administration figures — in particular, Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley, who are now driving the Iran deal 2 negotiations — the JCPOA left Iran’s military sites unmonitored by the International Atomic Energy Association,” continued Berkowitz. “It gave the IAEA imperfect access to Iran’s declared sites.”

“It permitted Iran to develop ballistic missiles, sow terror throughout the Middle East, arm Hezbollah and Hamas, and continue to call publicly for Israel’s destruction,” Berkowitz wrote.

And Iran’s rulers may not take the news of Netanyahu’s return very well. Already, the regime has been looking to scapegoat both Israel and the U.S. for widespread civil unrest occurring in response to the death of a young Kurdish woman while in custody.

Though the death happened in September, the unrest has continued. And Iran’s urgent need for a scapegoat isn’t Israel’s only concern.

“Saudi Arabia, U.S. on High Alert After Warning of Imminent Iranian Attack,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “Saudis said Tehran wants to distract from local protests, and the National Security Council said the U.S. is prepared to respond.”

Will Benjamin Netanyahu be able to right Israel’s economic ship, shore up national security, and deal effectively with Iran? Only time will tell.

Munr Kazmir is the founder of American International School System, Entrepreneur, Vice President of the American Jewish Congress, humanitarian and philanthropist.